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What to Bring & What Not To Bring While Treavelling to South America

September 12, 2011
I’m hooked on travel blogs at the moment. I follow more than I care to admit.. Just now I found a new one to add to my list. I thought this helpful post might interest you so I’m reporting it for you and encourage you to go visit Bacon is Magic. Since I’m vegetarian the name repelled me at first but now I pretend she’s referring to tofu bacon:)

What I loved
Packing cubes I will never travel without packing cubes again. These changed how I viewed packing my bag. Instead of rummaging through my bag it was simple and quick to take them in and out. If you don’t have them believe me you need them. HP Mini 311 I thoroughly researched netbooks and this was perfect for me as it allowed me to edit photos on Lightroom. It was a bit slow when I tried to run multiple programs but only $250 and you can’t beat that. Chacos I once hated these sandals and thought they were ugly but they are perfect for long days on cobblestone. Canadian stickers I bought them at a dollar store and tucked in my journal and gave them to kids and fellow travelers who loved picking between flags, beavers and polar bears – so much for crushing stereotypes! What I didn’t need Travel wash bag The awkward size took up too much room. I thought the hook at the top would be practical but most places did not have somewhere for me to hang it. I got rid of it at 7 weeks. Expensive travel clothes I was so excited at this big trip I went out and bought a bunch of fancy travel clothes. If you are an adventure traveler you may need this but if you realize you hate hiking you should spare yourself the $100 merino wool sweater because you are only going to hang it up at some hostel in Panama and lose it and then wonder why you buy nice things. My zip off pants were very practical and I did wear them places like Machu Picchu but not in cities as I felt like a grungy gringo backpacker. Rain poncho I didn’t bring any rain gear at all. I only got stuck in the rain once and wore a garbage bag. I did buy a 99 cent poncho and didn’t wear it until month 13. I should have worn another garbage bag. Medications I rarely used anything in my medications bag and it was a small fortune. Most of the medication I could have gotten in Latin America where many countries sell by the pill, in Panama I bought motion sickness pills for 10 cents a pop. Mini first aid kit I ended up taking the band aids and throwing out the rest. Multitool I once used it for a mango, that’s the only time I used it. Next time I’ll just bring a corkscrew. Sewing Kit Every traveler has one but the only time I needed to sew something I just dropped it off at a seamstress and she fixed it for $2. Mini flashlight on key chain I had a head lamp, which was recommended by many and I used it quite a bit, even if just to enter dorm rooms at night. Silk sleeping bag I did not need to use this once, hostels in Latin America are quite nice and if I had seen one that required the bag I didn’t stay there. It was a lot of money so if you really want one save yourself some money and sew up a sheet. How about you, what have you lugged around and realized you did not need?

Travel Tip: While I wondered what to pack for travel in South America, I packed my bag without a lot of technical gear because I’m not interested in adventure tours but if you are you may want to pack some additional gear.

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